DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSES
In Maine, Domestic Violence offenses are treated very seriously by the State. A domestic violence crime is one involving family or household members, including former significant others. A domestic violence conviction can result in the loss of the right to possess a firearm, significant jail time and probation, and completion of a 48 week batterer’s program. A conviction for one of these crimes can also elevate any new charge to a felony. Our firm takes accusations of this type extremely seriously and works hard to fully investigate and defend its clients against these claims.
Drug charges can carry exceptionally tough penalties including prison, long periods of probation and high fines. Even a civil possession of marijuana charge can result in the denial of student loans. Our firm has extensive experience defending its clients against drug charges of all types, including numerous high quantity drug trafficking cases.
Simply the accusation of a sex crime can carry significant consequences. The press surrounding these cases frequently implies guilt when often there is a lot more to the story. Additionally, after conviction, many of these charges require registration on Maine’s Sex Offender Registry. These cases require experience, tenacity, attention to detail and willingness to go to trial. Strike, Gonzales and Butler Bailey stands well equipped to provide a vigorous defense to charges in all types of sex crimes.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
These crimes include Theft, Forgery, Receiving Stolen Property, Robbery, Burglary and Arson. These crimes can lead to fines, jail, probation and often high restitution payments. We have substantial experience in handling all of these types of cases in both State and Federal Court. We also have a good understanding of the relationship in many of these cases between property crimes, drug use and abuse, and the need for treatment as opposed to jail time.
This category of crime includes Assault, Aggravated and Elevated Aggravated Assault. Violent crimes are harshly penalized in Maine and often lead to sentences that include jail and probation. Our firm works hard to investigate charges and defend our clients from these types of accusations.
HOMICIDE (MURDER) AND MANSLAUGHTER
Homicide is the most serious charge that a person can face. In Maine, it has its own classification and carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Likewise, Manslaughter is a Class A crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. This firm routinely handles these types of cases and has the experience and knowledge to handle the array of issues that are specific to these charges.
Juveniles are people under the age of 18. In Maine, these cases are typically addressed in Juvenile Court, which is a separate justice system than adult criminal court. The Juvenile Court recognizes that children and young adults may lack the maturity and good judgment to make the right decisions and emphasizes rehabilitation and second chances, rather than punishment. However, these cases can still carry serious implications for the juvenile, including indefinite detention in a juvenile facility, fines, restitution and juvenile probation. Our firm advocates for a just and age-appropriate resolution that will include services to help turn your child back onto the path of a law-abiding adulthood.
Federal criminal charges can include drug trafficking charges, gun charges, fraud, federal probation violations, illegal re-entry, and cyber-crimes. Although they sound similar to state charges, federal charges are very different from state charges and can be considerably more serious. Some of the major differences between state and federal charges include:
- Federal prosecutors are called Assistant United States Attorneys. They tend to have fewer cases than state prosecutors and they tend to spend more time working on the cases they bring. By the time you find out that you’ve been charged with a federal crime, the AUSA has probably been investigating you for weeks, if not longer.
- Cases are almost never dismissed in federal court because the prosecutor isn’t ready. Everyone knows that on the day of trial, the trial will start, and the AUSA will make sure that his or her witnesses are present and ready.
- Federal sentencing is based on the federal sentencing guidelines, and a host of federal laws that govern how a sentenced is to be imposed in federal court. These are technical areas of the law that are tremendously complex.
Our attorneys regularly practice in the Federal Court and understand the multitude of issues specific to this often-daunting venue.
Traffic violations can have severe criminal consequences, particularly when a driver is accused of operating under the influence, commonly called “OUI.” It is not uncommon for us to represent a client who is unaware that driving charges are actual crimes and that a conviction will be reflected on a criminal history background check. Individuals don’t always understand that they will have a criminal record even though the penalty is a fine and not jail.
Driving charges may also involve action by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), including license suspensions and revocations. The court is not required to explain these consequences to a defendant. The charge of Operating after Suspension of a driver’s license (OAS) is one of the most common criminal driving offenses. Often times, a driver does not even realize her license has been suspended. The law does not require a person to actually know that her license is suspended to be convicted. The prosecutor only needs to prove that notice of the suspension was mailed to the driver’s address on file with the BMV. The standard penalty for a first offense OAS is a $250 fine. People without a lawyer often plead guilty to this charge because it only carries a fine. However, the court will notify the BMV of the conviction and the BMV will in turn suspend a person’s license for an additional 60 days.
An OUI conviction will result in fines and possibly land you in jail. You will also lose your driver’s license for several months. In addition, your insurance company may increase your rates to an unmanageable level. When facing an OUI, you have many rights as a criminal defendant, including the right to cross-examine the witnesses against you, even if they are police officers. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in such a difficult case.
Finally, if a person is convicted three times within five years of certain driving offenses, including OAS and OUI, the BMV will declare that person to be a Habitual Offender and revoke that person’s license for three years. Because most Mainers do not have access to public transportation, losing a driver’s license means they cannot get to their jobs or transport their children to doctor’s appointments. A person’s life can easily be devastated by the loss of a license in Maine.
We offer an array of criminal defense services, at both state and federal levels. Domestic assault, driving violations like Operating After Suspension or DUI, Child Protection, and Homicide are just some of the criminal charges we defend.